"Cherish Your Time with Loved Ones"
What You Need To Know:
ABOUT TIME is expertly acted, funny and touching. However, it feels stretched and overlong as it goes through one relationship resolution after another and yet another. The movie has strong positive messages extolling family, having children and spending time with loved ones. However, gratuitous, unnecessary foul language and brief lewd moments demand extreme caution for ABOUT TIME.
(RoRo, BB, Pa, LLL, V, S, AA, M) Strong Romantic worldview mitigated by a strong pro-family and pro-child message, but the plot device involves some pagan magical thinking; 27 obscenities and profanities; shocking car crash that results in the main character’s alcoholic sister endangered in the hospital, but the shock comes from the crash of the car rather than graphic shots of her injuries; implied fornication humorously portrayed as the man keeps re-starting time in order to be a better seducer, plus brief crude dialogue; no nudity but woman’s bra and panties are shown; social drinking and the protagonist’s sister is an alcoholic who nearly dies after a DUI car accident, which admirably leads her to get sober; no smoking or drugs; and, duplicity and man reconstructs time and events to his advantage.
ABOUT TIME is a romantic comedy about a man who discovers he has the ability to travel through time to affect events in his own life, and how that affects his relationships. The movie has a Romantic worldview but it’s bolstered by a strong pro-family and pro-child message. Sadly, the movie contains some strong foul language and brief lewd content that diminish its family-friendly, uplifting qualities.
Tim (Dohmnall Gleeson) is a geeky man in his 20s who never has any luck with love. Then, one one day his father (Bill Nighy) tells him that all men in the family have a secret ability to transform the past of their own personal lives and circumstances through time travel.
Tim uses this skill to romantic and humorous effect in order to win over a beautiful woman during a summer vacation, but fails. When he makes another attempt, however, to lure an American woman named Mary (Rachel McAdams), he wins her over in glorious fashion but realizes he can never tell her what he’s done or risk looking crazy or dishonest.
The couple eventually falls into bed, but the actual sex is left mostly off screen (though they do have some sex talk briefly in a couple of gratuitous scenes that are so brief that could have been left out for artistic reasons, not just moral ones). Best of all, as the couple gets married and has children, ABOUT TIME shifts from being a clever comedy to a richer drama about the changes one goes through in life and in lifelong marriages.
Along the way, Tim keeps trying to use his secret ability to save or improve his loved ones’ lives, including saving his alcoholic sister from a terrible car crash caused by her being DUI. The problem is that writer-director Richard Curtis has given viewers too much of a good thing. While the movie is expertly acted and touchingly crafted, it feels somewhat stretched out and overlong as it goes through one touching relationship resolution after another and yet another.
However, that is a small problem for those who enjoy uplifting entertainment, especially a movie that features such positive messages about the importance of family, the value of true love, and the magic of babies. Overall, ABOUT TIME is a movie that should have been for the entire family but has just enough gratuitous foul language and talk about sex to make it appropriate only for older teenagers and adults. Extreme caution is advised.